…I’m not kidding. An old, decrepit, half-dead MMO has something that seems so basic, so simple, so – necessary – and none of the big boys has even thought to implement it.
The chance to build a customer base. To earn repeat buyers. To actually have a business.
EVE doesn’t have it. They are a step ahead with buy orders and contracts. And that’s a start. When I’m looking at BPC’s, once I find someone who has deals I like, I jot down their name and look for when their newest stuff comes up. But I can’t go to their store. I’m not even sure I can search by their name. And even if I could, how can they communicate with me? Give me a discount for continuing to buy from them? Give me incentive to continue to go back to them?
And the other MMO’s? They don’t even make it that far. Some are just patently ridiculous. I enjoy crafting, but I gave it up in Vanguard. If it have to make a few hundred cloaks to advance a level, I’m not interested. And I can’t sell them to anyone except to the vendor, for a scratch or maybe even a loss. That’s not fun. If you are going to invite players in your game to craft, to take part in the economy, then you need to do it in a way makes it fun for them to do so!
And now we come to the part of the post where I eat my own words. Because I can’t stand Free Realms. But at least there, when I go to cook something, its fun to do. Yes, its a mini game, and I’m not big on mini games. Did I mention yet that I was eating my own words?
The businesses in SWG impressed me more than anything. I drove out in the wilderness in my crappy starter speeder and started a few harvesting stations, all so that one day I might own my own business. I loved wandering through the player owned city. Checking out the shops and such. I could search them on the index I’m sure, but it was fun to immerse myself in it.
Its probably a pipe dream, because even SWG didn’t implement it all that great. And we’re talking about a genre where some major titles can’t even be bothered to offer player housing of any sort (::cough cough:: WAR, WoW), or make housing available to every level of play from beginner on up (::cough cough:: LotRO, Vanguard).
But I think it would be worth the investment and the experimentation for a game to be able to gives us that something that we haven’t had before.